Forget The Gossip! What Did You Learn?

ustreamsueAfter 4 days of workshops (mLearn 2007 conference and Alan Levine’s workshop) I was struggling to stay awake by the end of the day on Friday. But rather than sneak in a nanny nap in the afternoon (concerned it would effect my ability to go to sleep that night) I struggled on with the plan for an early dinner followed by early to bed.

Forgot to send the memo to my mate Simon Brown, re-early night, who decided that “Hey, Sue want to test Ustream.TV?” I should add I think he may have meant I want to test Ustream but me being Sue took over and decided that might be cool to do a wrap on the conference so decided to broadcast from my hotel room while convincing my new mate Lance from Melbourne that he should join me in the broadcast!

So with Simon’s excellent guidance we got Ustream working and grabbed an audience using twitter with viewers from England, USA and Australia. The whole wrap on the conference was going okay until Lisa Durff threw in the curly question in the chat area – “But what did you learn?” Boy, tough audience you actually want to know what I learnt? You can check out the recording here!

Good question Lisa! And really that is why it is all about — “what did you learn from attending a conference that you did not know before?” And for someone like myself who has spent a lot of time immersed in learning about m-learning and mobile technologies that is a real curly question — with no simple answer.

So this weekend I have been trying to bring the past week all together into one place (my wiki) so I can reflect on what I learnt from the conference. Once I used to write my notes with pen and paper but I have found that writing my notes directly on my computer then transferring them to my wiki site helps my learning process because it ensures I do actually reflect on what I had written whereas less likely with hand written notes.

There is way too much information to summarise in a blog post so I suggest if you are interested in what happened at mLearn 2007 conference and what was discussed in relation to mlearning (mobile learning) you check out the pages on my wiki that:

Here are some key points covered during the conference that we need to be considering:

  • When implementing technology there needs to be adequate support is provided for both staff and students. Common mistake is to not supply adequate support – e.g. when observed students who had PDAs supplied for their use 24/7 most were not using their devices effectively–poor use of text writing.
  • Educators using technology with students are often failing to build reflection into the process and we really need to build reflection into the learning cycle to increase the gain of the learning
  • We need to remember the things we knew before, in terms of good pedagogy, do not become irrelevant, and do not get thrown out with using new technology. If you throw out good pedagogy when you implement technology you can end up with bad situations in the classroom. So instead of the students gaining from using the technology their learning suffers.
  • Classic example of misconception of the ability of the digital natives is educators will assume if students are using the technology they must know what they are doing and must be understanding what they need to do.
  • The trouble with learner autonomy does not always mean that they will make good choices — as educators we need to make sure our learners stay on path.
  • Mobile phones are the most owned mobile device. There are 3 billion mobile phones worldwide. Nokia 1100 (a basic mobile phone) has sold over 100 million compared to ipods which have not sold near 100 million and there is not even 1 billion PC in the world.
  • The reality is that 2.7 billion mobile phones are text and voice only and are not high end mobile phones. So at the moment we need to be focus on the text and voice aspect of mobile phones if we are looking at using learner devices.
  • Mobile phones are the most personalised device that people have – most people do not willingly feel comfortable letting others touch their mobile phone. UK study indicated 9 out of 10 people could not live without phone and 18-29 year olds spend more time messaging than talking on their phones. Most people used mobile phones to connect to mainly 5 people.
  • With mobile phones there is a big distinction between mobile computing and mobile life style. The really successful services on mobile phones fit mobile life style. Services that make people stop, type it in just don’t succeed.
  • Mobile phones are seen by many as personal devices – for connecting with their friends and some educators indicated their thoughts that students may not be happy with using their mobile phones for learning.
  • There needs to be more emphasis on user content creation that using mobile devices for content delivery.

FINAL THOUGHTS

WOW — for the Aussies did I mentioned I got to play with two iphones?

I am well known for NOT BEING INTO MOBILE PHONES , so don’t bother ringing my mobile phone or sending an SMS, but totally love the mobile web. Would be quite happy to flush my phone down the closest toilet and have never felt any strong desire to buy any mobile phone….until I got my hands on the iphone. Now that is a phone that I wanted to buy — fortunately for my husband it is not available in Australia. Hopefully when it is released here they will have fixed all aspects of the iphone that I don’t like.

Smart Conference Sharing With Your Readers! How To Do It And Survive!

mlearn 2007Decided to give myself another title to add to “Most Disorganised Traveler of the Year Award!” and “Crazy Mutlitasker” “Smart Conference Sharing To Your Readers!” [image by sridgway]

Before I came to the conference I debated how to share the information from mLearn 2007 conference with my readers, without overloading them! My concerns were live blogging may overwhelm my readers (too many posts) and at the moment live blogging does not fit how I like to learn and write posts.

I would love to be able to live blog like Carole did at Alan Levine’s session on Being There. She was absolutely incredible — was able to listen to what Alan was saying and then blog live about her reflections on what he was saying at the same time — compare what she has posted with what I wrote. I like to write what is being said and reflect more deeply later whereas she was reflecting as she was writing! I have to give her the “Incredible Reflective Live Blogger” title as she was sitting next to me writing this post!

So my brain was ticking over–how do I ensure that readers that want regular updates from the mlearning conference get what they want, I learn how I like to learn and other readers get the posts they like?

Simple the answer is my wiki! What I have done is set up a page on my Mobile Technology in TAFE wiki specifically for the conference. I searched technorati for posts on the conference and added RSS feeds from each blog site to this page. This means that my readers can read news as it is happening from people who are live blogging — I can add new feeds to the page when I find new bloggers posting on the conference and it takes the pressure of me to feel the need to satisfy readers on my own blog! Team work in action from everyone!

How did I know to add the RSS feeds from blogs? Well Frances is a great friend and she showed me how she did it with her student blogs — check out her instructions. Frances ROCKS!

So on my wiki page for the mlearn 2007 conference I have:

  • Elluminate session schedule that people can download so they can join the live sessions if they choose
  • RSS feeds from each blog that is posting on the conference
  • Photos feed from the conference
  • Links to websites where people have located information about their presentation
  • Twitter feed from mlearn2007

This makes it easier for:

  • My readers to keep updated with the latest information
  • Me to go through the information from the conference, reflect on what has happened at the conference and then write the information in a form that suits how I want to learn

Please let me know your thoughts? Is the wiki helpful? If so, have I missed anything?

Apologies to all the fantastic people that I have meet in the past few days — and my readers who want to hear about them — but even for this multitasker it is hard to keep on top of all that I am doing — the posts are coming. In the meantime stay tuned and watch the wiki page for the latest updates.